Admiring Without Desiring

in Inner Blocks4 months ago (edited)


Gazing through the large bay window from the living room of my mate's house in Newton Abbot Devon UK, I admired the views leading to the mountains. I was impressed by the layout of the houses that were superbly built on the sloping and hilly sites, flawlessly dotted along the streets. Each lot had a personal parking space with a garage, and surrounding gardens, which looked as beautiful as the finished image of a jigsaw puzzle.

The detached houses in this historic market town are different from the typical red brick houses across the UK, and although I've chosen to live on a narrowboat, and have no desire to own a conventional house, I was instantly mesmerized by these houses.
Not surprising though, as I do have a preference for older houses, compared to newly built ones. I find older houses more charming, with a further refined finish, and I think that older houses maintain their aesthetic value better than most of the houses that have been built in say the last 15 - 20 years, which tend to look weathered (interior wise, mainly) after a few years.

The atmosphere within the community was tranquil and dreamy; void of street brawls and I got the impression that the area was a relatively safe one. However, due to severe weather conditions, I was unable to do much exploring.

I was struck by the idea of how idyllic an area like this would be for a young couple looking to start a family, or for families as a whole.

Large gardens and private outdoor spaces facilitate convenient playgrounds for kids, as it prevents them from being confined indoors.
I do believe it's an important balance as children nowadays do more homeschooling and spend much time online and hooked to technology, that being outdoors can help them to develop other skills too.


There are so many factors to consider when buying a home. Still, in today's economic climate, how daunting the prospects of owning a house must be, for the average young couple with the desire to own a house in a nice safe area, with good facilities like schools and parks.

I've seen an increase in younger couples wanting to live nomadic lifestyles, and I believe more people in general, are looking for more affordable living options.
Off-grid homes, mainly in remote areas, whether mobile or static, are becoming incredibly popular. Such lifestyle appeals to many for its many perks, including living expenses, and well-being and off-grid or alternative homes are also seen as a more achievable goal across the board, especially since there's a better chance of outright ownership without loans/mortgages.

Lost in thoughts, I wondered what different approaches and sales pitch Real Estate Agencies must-have, considering the countless living alternatives?


I'm sure there are disadvantages of older houses such as heating, as larger rooms with higher ceilings are less economical to heat, and older homes might not have modern heating. Also, some persons might prefer to build a new house to their taste, which is a great option too.

But, are people steering towards living more harmoniously with the environment?

There's been a paradigm shift, and more persons are considering things such as homesteading, whether it be for environmental stewardship or just to achieve self-sufficiency. People are finding new ways to use their resources for income. Also, there is much emphasis on the benefits to be gained from living and spending time in nature and green spaces, and persons are drawn to this.

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Downsizing from large homes such as those of my mate, with private gardens and personal driving spaces, to living in smaller off-grid lodging in nature, is a tradeoff.
I guess the choice depends on personal circumstances, and preference.


Are you the opposite of me; Do you admire but have no desire for living in an off-grid home?

What do you think are some more feasible aspirations today?


Your post inspired me to share with you a recent conversation yesterday that I had with Anais that her new friend asked her why she doesn't live in a real home. My daughter replied that a real home is with the family but her friend insisted that the house we live in is not a real home. For reasons that the tiny home we're renting is in a resort and that we don't own it, hence it's not a real home. I'm glad Anais took it well and explained as best she could 😁

In the past, we had a house built in France. I had fun designing it and was there at some stages of the construction, but we have never lived in it. We had it rented but the tenant drove our family nuts so we sold it.

I see ourselves being location-independent. I prefer being free. It depends on the mood, sometimes off-grid lost in nature and at times in the middle of the art and culture scene but will prefer living in fully furnished hotel apartments so we could leave anytime without worrying about stuff except for our suitcases.

Wow! That's such a deep, unusual conversation for children to have. I'm so proud of Anaïs' mature response, and even more proud of both you and Yohann for raising her to understand just as she replied!

a real home is with the family


I could not agree with you more! Having the freedom choose where, and when to leave if needed is everything #LocationIndependent👍

The conversations kids have nowadays. I'm so happy for Anaïs, she and her friend agreed to disagree and continued playing. Cheers to #LocationIndependent lifestyle!

😁 I think the kids nowadays have a different level of maturity too. One thing I love about their conversations is how uncensored they are. Kids just speak their minds with no complications. I love that, and get so much laughter from listening to their thoughts:)
Cheers to a good night ❤️

I would go off-grid without second thought!
Right now, I truly enjoy living in an old stone-built house, which was built in 1890!
The new house is clearly not an option for me :)
I love the simplicity, the beauty and the wisdom of these old houses, their stories and of course the natural material they are made of, even though we have a lot of water coming in when the rain is heavy and the wind is coming from the South, haha!
All come with pros and cons :)
I guess the important thing is to feel safe, calm and authentic in any place you choose to live in!
Lovely post!

Wow! An 1890 old stone-built house sounds amazing😍
I'd absolutely love that.
SO much character in those places that I'd not be too fussed about little maintenance the odd maintenance issues occasionally.
I think I would be so content by the surroundings itself and would feel a true sense of calm and authenticity as you've mentioned.
Thanks for your lovely comment, I appreciate it very much :)

So much character, exactly!
As in your beautiful narrowboat, too ;)

Thank you😊

I would love to go to an off-grid situation if we are able to have it set up properly. I've been watching for a few years this fantastic show on American television called Homestead Rescue. It's amazing! I've learned so many things about living off grid and homesteading but it's definitely quite challenging if you don't have some good initial setup going for you.

The neighborhood certainly does look nice but to me, I would like to think that it's nice to be there but I don't love being on-top of each other like that. I want space! My wife however has her limits lol so it's definitely a balance. She wants to be near people more than I do but not in a manner like that in England. Thankfully we can agree on that lol

😁 That program sounds fantastic and informative. I don't watch TV, but I'd look to see if I can find anything online. Always something to learn and it could give me ideas for something to do on a much smaller scale.

I totally get what you mean about being on-top of each other, that's one of the reasons why my husband and I prefer to avoid staying at marinas. We like to spot an idyllic area and claim it as our backyard for the night and then move on the next day. There are some stunning places that make you feel like you should not be there, and then some areas (we've been warned) you know for sure that leaving your boat unattended is not a good idea.

I think off-grid is internally satisfying, whether on land or water, static or mobile, and wish that some day you'll find the right balance of "something" for both you and your wife :)
Thanks for stopping by, have a nice day:)

Lovely post. I have to ask, what's it like living on a boat? Cool photo!

Living simply, with a lot less has always been my preference, steadfast on that. Over ten years in 366 square feet that fit just right. The only thing I'd change is to be off-grid, out in nature, something quite familiar to me, something I miss. So, I admire off-grid, goal of several years now, but the right fit is necessary.

Thank you for your kind feedback😊

Living on the canal on a narrowboat is awesome. It's like having a permanently flooded endless backyard with elegant swans, and other water birds that entertain you with their communication amongst each other.
It's a friendly community as the other boat dwellers are pleasant and helpful:)

I particularly like this lifestyle because I'm completely cut off from society (except Hive of course) and I only pop into towns occasionally and get a reminder of just how caught up the world is in consumerism and all. I enjoy living life at this slow pace at the moment.

I do hope that someday you get the chance to be closer in nature, but you already have the experience and the mindset of less is more, which is a great start.

Thanks for dropping by, have a nice day:)

I like it that there are other boat dwellers there, saw more than one boat lined up in the photo. Is it very remote where you are? I wonder that since you said you only pop into towns occasionally (heaven in my mind). Did you do a post showing what it's like living on a longboat that you could link me with? I always find these alternative ways of living fascinating. So many choices. I have not seen a longboat before. I'm so curious, lol.

Whatever is meant to be for me is where I walk, so just waiting on my intuition to give me the nod for the right direction.

My pleasure reading your post, you're welcome! 💖

Oh, yes! I have done a few specific posts about life on the canals. Here are a few of them. It's different everyday because we are continuous cruisers exploring over 2000 miles of the English waterways.
I hope you get an idea from these posts:)

Thanks very much @millycf1976! I'm going to enjoy reading these. So you get to cruise around on over 2000 miles of waterways. Okay, I love that even more being a total water person. Heavenly! 😄

You're very welcome! Yes, over 200 miles😁 and we can choose any idyllic spot we like to moor.
It's awesome:)

It must be awesome, I can imagine the freedom and peace.

Indeed! Every day😊🙏

An off-grid habitat in a camper van would be nice! I used to dream of buying one at the onset of my independence haha but life caught up and dreams changed.

Camper vans are awesome and quite cool too. It's the first option people have in mind, especially a single person. I like that idea too, but the boat wins for me because I find road traffic stressful. I'm not one to switch off when I'm in a vehicle, not even as a passenger, but I'm not a panicky passenger either:)
With camper vans, you get to see more because you are in towns, but there's the challenge of finding places to park, and restrictions and new rules increase everyday for camper van owners.
You shouldn't give up that dream for a camper van though. Maybe one day you'll own one even if it's as a holiday home only🤞
Thanks for dropping by:)

Maybe one day you'll own one even if it's as a holiday home only🤞

this is a fantastic idea, @millycf1976! Now I'm thinking of adding this on my list haha

Yeah, why not?😆
That's awesome too, especially for persons who live in countries where seasons change drastically. Summertime is great for campervans. My girlfriend lives alone on one, and the fields and places she parks are spectacular:)
You get to places faster with a camper van too, as narrowboatss are void of speed 🤣

Ten acre plots surround us here at the Pookyville Cat Ranch. Nearest neighbors are around 1/4 mile. .04 km.

Purr-fection in my minds eye would be totally off grid. With nearest neighbor being 10 miles away.

I enjoy watching this show when I can find the time.

Homestead Rescue

Purr-fection in my minds eye would be totally off grid. With nearest neighbor being 10 miles away.

I'm with you totally on this one.

I'll definitely hit the play button to watch the latest episode of that show, as it's foggy outside with absolutely no view, which means we're going no where today!:)

I admire and think off-grid homes is great.

Having a minimalist lifestyle is good. More Space more thinks we store.

I try not acumulate stuff and I'm always donating and reusing thinks. One day maybe i'll live as nomad. Few months/years on each place.

A boat home is awesome, you can also drive your home elsewhere. I remember a netflix documentary that had couple building their first home on a bot on england river. The final result was awesome.

Hey @vaipraonde, you are absolutely right about more space, more things to store.
I hope you get the chance to experience a nomadic lifestyle. I'm leisurely making my way over to Wales with no agenda, which is awesome as I have no pressure.

I'm always donating and reusing things

That's awesome! So good for the soul😊

Thanks for stopping by:)

Right now, I have an 1869 house that was used as an annex to the hospital in the Civil War. I have a small cemetery way back on the property that is from then. The house has two secret rooms, rumored to be used in the underground railroad. Its in the state of Virginia. I also have a house close to Washington DC that is our regular house. Newer. I like the older one better. I am going to look at an ICF house being built. Off grid and self sustaining. Most of the battle is won because there are no mortgages. Money made on the stock market and other short term investments has made it so I have chouces.

A narrowboat is appealing!!

Wow, an 1869 house sounds appealing, because I love history and a house that would be full of character and many stories. Even a cemetery!! That must be quite a property.
You are right about the off grid homes, immediate, and direct ownership with far less financial stress.

Yes, the narrowboat is appealing, but I'm intrigued by the area you've described above:)

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Amazing pit

Thank you! I'm happy you like it:)

You own a small boat and it's your own mobile home, which is awesome. As for me, my mobile home is on my shoulder, a backpack about 25kg full of tools and tents, I can be anywhere and convenient and quiet.
Especially banks and bills hate me .lol

Hello @crazy-bee,
I bet banks and businesses hate you😆
When I just moved back to the UK, I carefreely applied for a job I saw advertised. I was just testing the waters, to see. I quickly realized it was a scam and that they would be asking me to deposit unnecessarily. The company kept calling me from a mobile number, and I could not get rid of them.
The thought occurred to me to say that I have no fixed addressed; the person on the other end hung up mid sentence and that was the ending of the harassment.
So I'm happy living this way, and can only imagine how free you must feel with just a 25kg bag.
I hope you keep warm and safe🤗
Thanks for stopping by!

It's only a temporary way, as I will need a mobihome in the future. I'm just adapting and learning with it: starting with the bike with moderate distances

Ok, it's always good to take baby steps anyway, so I hope you learn much from this trial:)
Best wishes:)